Still Turning
A History of Aermotor Windmills
Business History - Agricultural History
8.5 x 11, 296 pp.
120 b&w photos. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 09/16/2015
Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities
  cloth
Price:        $35.00

978-1-62349-335-6
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Still Turning

A History of Aermotor Windmills

Christopher C. Gillis
Foreword by T. Lindsay Baker

The Aermotor Windmill Company, which commenced operations in Chicago in 1888, is the nation’s sole remaining full-time manufacturer of water-pumping machines. The company’s imprint on rural America, particularly across the West, is still visible today in the tens of thousands of its windmills that bring water to the earth’s surface. Still Turning is the first book to explore the rise of the American windmill through the experience of this important company.

Aermotor founder La Verne Noyes and engineer Thomas Perry developed and perfected the all-metal wind pump in the 1880s. Within a decade, the “mathematical windmill” began to dominate the market. Aermotor continued to expand and innovate.

The ruggedness and simplicity of the American mechanical windmill has allowed it to outlast many newer water-pumping technologies over the years with minimal maintenance and oversight.

Christopher C. Gillis traces this story and more, from the early days of the company to Aermotor’s present-day relevance as it continues to produce its iconic windmills. Still Turning is a significant contribution not only to the history of wind power but also to the history of American enterprise.

CHRISTOPHER C. GILLIS is the editor of American Shipper and The Windmiller’s Gazette. He lives in Frederick, Maryland.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Christopher Gillis has written the first-ever full history of the Aermotor windmill, one of the best-known visual symbols of the American West. Any readers interested in the region will find the book to be a ‘must read’ choice.”—T. Lindsay Baker, author, A Field Guide to American Windmills

"Chris Gillis’s new book Still Turning: A History of Aermotor Windmills begins with the 'Mathematical Wheel.' Once the steel wheel of the Aermotor was designed and first used in 1888, its basic design has never changed in over 120 years. It like building a hammer, you can’t make it any better. . . Gillis has used extensive historic and hard-to-find resources in his new book Still Turning: A History of Aermotor Windmills. His style is easy to read and his facts are backed with original documents found in private collections. . . Chris has written a well-documented, easy-to-read history of America’s largest windmill company. It is a 'must' reference for anyone who owns an Aermotor windmill." — Coy F. Harris, executive director, American Wind Power Center

“Gillis has not only achieved his goal in capturing the majority of the Aermotor Windmill Company, but surpassed it by far. Without a doubt, this is one of the most thoroughly and thoughtfully researched company histories that I have ever had the pleasure to read. The author has used every possible resource to verify his findings and draw logical conclusions about those elements that were not documented. If every historian was so conscientious, there wouldn’t be so many of 'history’s mysteries' floating around today.”—  Steven Rosengard, assistant curator, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

"This is a great look on the history of the iconic Aermotor Windmill. Very good job by Mr. Gillis! He definitely did his homework!" -- Guy Morrow, president of the Aermotor Company

"Christopher Gillis's interest in windmills reaches back decades, and his vast knowledge is clearly evident throughout his outstanding book." — The Annals of Iowa

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